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(TW) How to not want to self harm?

(4 Posts)
kronker Tue 17-Nov-20 20:10:47

I'm happy. I've been clear of self harm for a while now. I still want to cut the shit out of myself even when I'm happy for some reason - this compulsion changes frequently (alcohol, sex, cigarettes, drugs, food or really anything else). Right now it's gone back to good old cutting.

How do I stop wanting to?

OP’s posts: |
Ingvermama Tue 17-Nov-20 20:48:29

I'm a self harmer. I did it as a teenager until early twenties during stressful times when I felt particularly shit, then I didn't for years. Now, age 46 I started again, but have anxiety and depression. I've been treated with sertraline, and had CBT and now counselling, they have helped me so much, particularly the CBT. Do you have anything in your mind that is the cause of it? If you could get to the bottom of it you might find you stopped. I still have very strong urges and am struggling, but I haven't self harmed for nearly a month.

kronker Tue 17-Nov-20 21:10:12

@Ingvermama Thanks for sharing your experiences, nice to hear that I'm not alone though I'm sorry you're struggling.

I started severely self harming when I was 11 which subsequently got worse and diffused into other self destructive tendencies, but I've been clean of it for I think 6ish months. I don't know if I have a reason for it, it could easily just be habit and sometimes I want to do it out of morbid curiosity to a certain extent - I enjoy the experience of it, which is clearly not a sign of good mental health but I also feel OK most of the time. I wouldn't even consider myself depressed anymore which I'm grateful for.

I took sertraline and I did CBT, but neither really helped me much if I'm honest. I've kind of exhausted the external help route, so I'm wondering if anyone knows any tips on a personal level.

OP’s posts: |
InTheseUncertainTimes Wed 18-Nov-20 11:05:20

I'm currently cutting again, too. Like yourself, it feels like a compulsion that has nothing to do with my mood. No feeling of escaping from negative emotions or numbness, or any of that. Just a compulsion. I do also cycle through various unhealthy urges anyway, especially in times of stress of poorer mental health (which this year definitely has been for me).

I've had plenty of therapy, and have lots of strategies in place for how not to, but they all rely on having at least some motivation to not cut! Right now I've made such a mess of my leg this year that I don't seem to find that motivation at all. It's already a mess, so it doesn't matter if it's a slightly bigger mess, right? I've also kind of taken to cutting in a pattern, so get a bit stuck on the idea that I can't leave it unfinished - yet when I finish a bit of it, I'll eventually just start a new bit.

The only thing that is currently slightly holding me back is that I've already had one infection this year. It was incredibly gross - just the pus and the smell alone, nevermind the look of it. I'd not want a repeat of that. Definitely don't want to have to take any more pictures of the damn things to send to my GP!

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